ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP
Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
A CurtainUp Feature
Double your pleasure. . .
By Elyse Sommer
Of the veritable flood of Shakespeare plays currently on and off-Broadway, the acclaimed London Globe Company's double bill of Richard III and Twelfth Night at the Belasco is a hot ticket. The repertory setup that enables the actors to let audiences see their versatility is more par for the course for London than New York actors, making it something of a novelty in New York. Having these alternating plays feature an all-male cast headed by one Britain's best known and most acclaimed actors, Mark Rylance, adds to the event-ability buzz.
There's also a somewhat less time-consuming in-rep duo (but also requiring two trips to the theater and two ticket purchases), this one by two different playwrights but also featuring a pair of Britain's finest thespians, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart: Harold Pinter's No Man's Land & Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot at the Cort Theater. Adding "event-ability" is the fact that the famous Brits are joined by two outstanding American actors, Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley.
Notithstanding the cost in dollars and time, both these double headers have done well at the box office even before the official opening dates. And your intrepid reporters will be reviewing all.
The popularity of "event-able" plays requiring multiple visits and ticket purchases is not completely new to Broadway (think Tom Stoppard's triptych Coast of Utopia and Alan Ayckbourne's Norman Conquests ).
Nor is this type of presentation limited to Broadway. This season's Off-Broadway season opened with five plays running simultaneously by Lucy Thurber in various downtown venues (casting wasn't in-rep style, but the main character in each was another version of the author's alter ego). For completists that meant five downtown trips which my colleague Simon Saltzman found worthwhile but I found rather less necessary or worth all that time and money.
For the most likely to succeed multiple in-rep shows on the downtown scene, check out the Public Theater Where Richard Nelson's popular plays about the Apples of Rhinebeck, New York. will conclude with Regular Singing which will play in repertory with its four predecessors. Given the run of justly lauded hits at the beautifully renovated theater complex, repertory or otherwise, a visit there, no matter what you see, is very much a a must-do event.
Any in-rep possibilities on your wish list?